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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [04.19.05]
Manufactured by: Hitachi, Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital

NOTE: If you are curious about SATA-II, 3 Gb/s, and what that means for performance in various RAID configurations, please see our new article!


Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 Hard Drive

Available in capacities up to 300gb, the DiamondMax 10 represents the first of the Maxtor line to support NCQ. Spinning at 7200 RPM, the 250gb and 300gb variants of this drive come powered with 16 mb of cache standard. Smaller sizes make do with 8 mb. As you can see, Maxtor has done away with the legacy 4 pin molexes so you'll need SATA power cables to power it up.

The warranty is a funny one that I'll never understand. For an OEM drive which is usually cheaper, you get three years of warranty whereas a retail drive gets only one. Hum?

Hitachi's Deskstar T7K250 SATA II Hard Drive

With the IBM Deathstars but a distant memory, Hitachi has really turned things around since it took over. The T7K250 is the only SATA II drive in this roundup and we certainly have high hopes for it. As with the Maxtor, it spins at 7200 RPM, but the cache in this case is limited to 8 mb.

The warranty is the industry standard of three years which though seems ho-hum now, is a heck of a lot better than the one year warranties we were seeing a few years back.

Next Page: (Seagate Barracuda 7200.8, WD740 Raptor)